The 55th Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) and 16th Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI) was held during the weekend of 20 and 21 October 2012. About 1 million Scouts from 150 countries took part in the event, a participation number that has been stable for many years now.
However, fast improving communication technology and reducing costs of Information Technology infrastructures have resulted in the digital divide being broken in developing countries where the vast majority of Scouts come from. As a result, more and more young people from deeper into the countries are now able to access the Internet, although sometimes with low connectivity speeds making it difficult to download heavy data or access high-resolution audio/video files.
Last year ‘JOTA-JOTI Vision 2015’ was launched with the aim of reaching 3 million Scouts by 2015. As part of the initiatives being undertaken to achieve this, the JOTA-JOTI team has been working on introducing new interactive games that are being offered as part of the annual flagship event of World Scouting. As a result, the first JOTA-JOTI Global Challenge, with the support from the Messengers of Peace, was launched this year. Despite some Scout Groups experiencing website performance problems while taking part in this year’s Global Challenge, 122 Groups from 34 countries completed 800 tasks.
Images and videos resulting from the Global Challenge are available on the Internet for everyone to see (www.jotajoti.org/challenge). Feedback from participants of the Challenge has been very positive, showing that such initiatives are a good way of reaching out to newer Scout audiences. The Global JOTA-JOTI Challenge 2012 is inspired from the Brazilian Scouts’ JOTI Challenge. União dos Escoteiros do Brasil (UEB) is running their JOTI Challenge for the 10th consecutive year successfully. This year their participating Scout Groups (representing 25% of all Scouts in Brazil) completed ten thousand tasks, an incredible achievement.
The theme of JOTA-JOTI this year was "How Big Is Your World?". A "How Big Is Your World" game was also proposed to participants as part of the activities on offer, where Scouts had to look up information via QR codes and smart phones. Many interesting amateur radio contacts were made. One of the remarkable achievements this year was when radio contact was established between the American JOTA station K2BSA and the International Space Station orbiting our planet Earth from the space.